Google Has Comptely Forgotten 'Don't Be Evil' As The World Domination Agend Gathers Pace
by Ian R Thorpe
Some years ago I wrote a blog posts titled Don't Be Evil, That's Google's Job. It was not jut about the strokes pulled by the search engine giant in manipulation search results and the visibility of websites. in effect controlling what information we see, for their own corporate benefit but also about the way so many seemingly intelligent and clinically sane people were prepared to unquestioningly believe Google's assertion that it was a force for good in the increasingly threatening and unsafe online environment.
In fact Google's slogan was always a lie, a mask of respectability and moral rectitude behind which hid the most creepy, control freaky and fascistic of all online businesses. It was always their stated intention to control all the information in the world. And if that meant stealing information that belonged to individuals and businesses, Google were not averse to that so long as it advanced their agenda.
Google abandoned it's Don't Be Evil pretence in 2009 when the then CEO Eric Schmidt said it was the company's policy to go as close to creepy as possible without crossing the line. Schmidt was being disingenuous of course, Google had already gone way over the line and developed technology that could peer into our bedrooms and "share" our most intimate secrets with the world (and if they can, its a safe bet for the right money they will) Now it seems Google has finally abandoned any pretence that it's Don't Be Evil slogan meant anything. A free Kenyan business directory called Mocality claim they have evidence of Google unethically hacking their database and targeting their customers. Mocality, founded by Stefan Magdalinski, also behind Moo.com, claims that Google has been illicitly approaching their clients to win new business for its own rival products.
Through careful analysis of user agents and IP addresses, the Kenyan outfit has produced convincing evidence, including recordings of phone calls calls, that Google staff were misleading Mocality users in order to secure sales for the American Search giant. Magdalinski has written a detailed report in which he says Google have been "falsely claiming to be collaborating with us." The document goes on to describe a "systematic, months-long attempt to undermine our business, being perpetrated from call centres on two continents".
The theft of customer data might not sound that big a deal, but as Magdalinski points out, "unlike in the UK or US, where you can just kickstart your directory business with a DVD of business data bought from a commercial supplier, if we wanted a comprehensive database of Kenyan business, we would have to build it ourselves."
After being told by customers that Google were claiming to be a partner of Mocality and offering paid-for website services, Magdalinski assumed he was being targeted by a rogue call-centre employee. Further investigation into the source of the website visits however revealed that Google sales staff from Kenya and India, were using Mocality's information to target companies for their Kenyan business directory Get Kenyan Business Online.
Suspecting something was amiss, Mocality staff set their website to automatically change the telephone numbers on the directory to their own, whenever the page was loaded by one of the suspected IP addresses. They then recorded Google staff trying to sell web hosting services, and in one case accusing Mocality of "bait-and-switch" tactics in order to discredit them.
This behaviour is totally unethical and certainly make a lie of Google's legacy motto, "don't be evil" although as mentioned above they ditched it as their official slogan in 2009 during a PR overhaul. In a world of online business where everything is trackable, it is barely believable that Google would allow this kind of practice to go on although they have resisted previous accusations of unethical practices by resorting to bullying and bluster. In this case Google fans are defending the corporation by pointing out they are taking the complaint seriously.. Nelson Mattos, the company's European vice-president for products and engineering, told me: "We were mortified to learn that a team of people working on a Google project improperly used Mocality’s data and misrepresented our relationship with Mocality to encourage customers to create new websites.
"We’ve already unreservedly apologised to Mocality. We’re still investigating exactly how this happened, and as soon as we have all the facts, we’ll be taking the appropriate action with the people involved."
Well that's all very nice but put it in the context of Schmidt's "as close to creepy as possible" statement. Google are only taking it seriously because they were caught. In 2008 when US web sites critical of Barack Obama's campaign in the Presidential election suddenly experienced dramatic traffic loss Google at first denied it could possibly happen and tried to blame the fact that these sites were, in opposing Obama, racist. When uber - blogger Pam Geller got involved by questioning was there a political motive, traffic to her Atlas Shrugs site dropped overnight. It was only when some of the other blogosphere powerhouses got behind her and proved her site had been removed from Google's index did Google grudgingly admit "there had been an error," and reinstate her.
Now it's quite amazing how many people in the US who call themselves "liberals" or "progressives" will tell you that Geller should not be allowed to publish online because her views are "evil." Pam Geller is not evil, her views on relations between Israel, the US government, the Arab world and the Jewish community in America may seem extreme to people who are not involved (really we just don't understand the issues) but I have crossed paths with Pam online and found her feisty and assertive as one would expect of a New Yorker but charming, intelligent and witty and well informed. And in my perspective and woman over 50 with the nerve to wear a bikini and the figure to look good in one is OK. Besides, Pam knows the meaning and importance of free speech to decide which is a concept Google clearly do not understand. Who elected those two semi - autistic clowns Page and Brin to decide who may and may not have an opinion.
In view of the anti trust lawsuits faced by Microsoft and other corporations that abused their market dominance over the past twenty years it is amazing Google, which blatantly and openly abuses it's ill - deserved dominance of search has not faced legal scrutiny in the USA, the spiritual home of consumer rights.
These latest claims come however at a time when Google could do without any more bad press. They are still subject to European and US Federal Trade Commission antitrust enquiries.Also public trust has been eroded by repeated invasions of personal privacy, including that of people who don't even use the net. If Google are found guilty of abusing their dominant position in the search market, they could be fined 10 per cent of its annual turnover by the EU. But more importantly, it will show the world that the old motto really has lost its force to such an extent that even those stupid nerds who think Google superior because it will serve them a million results on a search when other engines might only serve 50,000 will have to take notice.
Meanwhile, Yahoo, Bing and Ask Jeeves are no angels but are damn good search engines. Give them a try.
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Google Has Comptely Forgotten 'Don't Be Evil' As The World Domination Agenda Gathers Pace
by Ian R Thorpe.
At last Google has been caught stealing information from a business rival rather than private induviduals.
CREATIVE COMMONS: Attribute, non commercial, no derivs.If you liked this, please give it a boost
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KEYWORDS: google, search, engine, internet, technology, evil, datasbase, Mocality, business, customers, domination, antitrust, microsoft, eu. legal, daily stirrer, Ian R Thorpe, ianrthorpe
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